JA Our Families™

Our Families emphasizes the roles people play in the local economy and engages students with activities about needs, wants, jobs, tools and skills, and interdependence. Five required, volunteer-led activities.

The key learning objectives listed beside each activity state the skills and knowledge students will gain.

Activity One: Our Families

Students better understand what a family is by studying a poster. They discover how people in a family are alike and different and how they work together to make where they live a good place

Key Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • identify what a family is.
  • recognize how people live and work together in a family.
Activity Two: Our Families’ Needs
and Wants

Students become aware that all families must have food, clothing, and shelter to live. They begin to understand the difference between a need and a want.

Key Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • explain the differences between a need and a want
Activity Three: Our Families’ Jobs

Students learn how jobs provide for family members’ needs and wants. They draw pictures of family members doing jobs.

Key Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • define a job as work that needs to be done.
  • identify jobs people do
Activity Four: Finding Our Families’ Needs and Wants

Students use a floor map to discover where members of a family would go to obtain their needs and wants.

Key Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • interpret map symbols.
  • place various kinds of symbols for businesses and services on a map.
  • recognize how family members depend on various businesses to provide for their needs and wants.
Activity Five: Paying for Our Families’ Needs and Wants

Students learn about the importance of working to pay for needs and wants. Through role-playing, they demonstrate working and paying for these needs and wants.

Key Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • describe various jobs from which people earn money.
  • recognize that families use money to satisfy their needs and wants.
Our Families enhances students’ learning of the following concepts and skills:

Concepts–Business, Choices, Consumers, Earning, Economic incentives, Economic institutions, Employment, Family, Human resources, Incentives, Income, Interdependence, Jobs, Money, Needs, Resources, Scarcity, Skills, Spending, Tools, Voluntary exchange, Wants, Work

Skills–Analyzing information, Decision-making, Differentiating, Drawing, Following directions, Interpreting symbols, Listening responsively, Making observations, Map reading, Matching, Recognizing symbols, Sequencing, Teamwork

Our Families is a series of five activities recommended for students in first grade. The average time for each activity is 30 minutes. Materials are packaged in a self-contained kit that includes detailed activity plans for the volunteer and materials for 30 students.

All JA programs are designed to support the skills and competencies identified by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. These programs also augment school-based, work-based, and connecting activities for communities with school-to-work initiatives.